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tv   After Words  CSPAN  November 1, 2014 12:39am-1:05am EDT

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>> host: that goes to the important question. do we know yet whether hands-free is as bad as being on the phone? i can imagine sending a text is far worse than reading a text however have we gotten this all sorted out and is there anything you want to board people without? >> guest: anything that you look away and you've are manipulating your hands is looking up so even if you are on a hands-free phone you might have to dial and before i get to that question which is probably the most that is the hard to parse even if you have a voice activated thing a bunch of research shows partly because those things don't work very well you've are in an argument with your phone so that is a problem but it also takes you away from the road when you interact with that. as for being on a hand's free
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device host of the nero scientists bb that it is a cognitive distraction. most of the experts be needed is a cognitive distraction. and what that means is that you are not fully focused on the road and in fact to the point that the visual cortex is somewhat superimposed thinking about imagining the person that you are talking to have the situation with comes into play when you have to make a decision going very fast. there are some traffic safety advocates who disagree with that and there's not a big argument that there is a low-level discussion going on. iowa to tell you that the auto industry that we didn't talk about earlier advocates for hands-free being okay and it's also true in the same breath that they have financial interest because they are
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selling lots of gadgets for cars that rely on those systems and one step further they are trying to get people to the show room and that is one of the selling points. >> host: it is more enticing when you have more ability to do more things in the car obviously the jury is out and get the scientists feel hands-free is dangerous. >> host: >> guest: for most you will get an argument from a small handful in the scientific community. >> host: we have time for just a few more pointed questions about the viewers want to see where you see the hope lighting. we can't change it all. we are in the universe of the technology with the universities being driven home and at the
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fact that we talk about the primitive brains. tell us three things that you think will work that you see as hopeful. >> guest: one is personable and i get into this in the book. we mentioned a chocolate cake study. take some time away from your device broadly speaking because to an extent you don't realize the audience and i didn't realize, so i speak from experience the amount that we are on overtime is impinging our ability to make a lot of decisions and it might affect your decision behind the wheels of some is personal responsibility. the two others are tried and true from drunk driving, seatbelts, lots of public education and one is tough enforcement but i want to hit home on both of them.
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when it comes to public education committee turns out to be a hero. it is a redemption. i don't want to give the book away that he deserves for whatever tragedy that he caused and it was serious how he felt and how he deserves to feel he's reading himself like no one i've ever seen and it is a story worth reading. but public education, people speaking he speaks to the audiences and lots of families are speaking to audiences. >> host: you think that could have an impact? >> guest: it would also have an impact on legislatures. i want to be careful not to be too prescriptive but on the top wall side i think what i'm hearing in the public safety advocates is unless the laws are
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tougher and unless people really feel afraid that they are in jeopardy, we are not going to see a reconciliation between attitudes and behavior. they won't come together until people feel like it is a slap on the wrist. what that translates again on "the new york times" i don't want to be too prescriptive but there are some solutions in the book and i think that legislators coupled with public safety advocates are starting to talk about some tougher penalties. >> host: that is important and hopeful. tell us a little bit in the last few minutes about your personal experience. how did you come to write the book? how did it change your behavior as a technology reporter, how has it changed your thinking about attention and distraction in the society?
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just quickchange manifestly. i think about it how it actually forms the worldview. i have two little kids now and i watch my behavior in the years before and i would watch this device. i'm a journalist so i'm always thinking about what's happening into something was going on. in something was going on. so, part of it was feeling and wanting to understand it. but i imagined my kids. can i tell you a quick story about my son? he walks by in his grandparents house my wife's folks, he picks it up and he puts it to his ear and i don't even know that he knows all these words and he
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says i will call you back from a landline. i burst out laughing. but it was one of these moments when i realized i had have a kid that is going to drive and that is mimicking my behavior with devices. and i want to know for myself and how i raised my kids and that was a big part of it simply coupled with having run into an irresistible story with reggie. >> host: was there anything in particular and it can even be a piece of the research. and i know that as a journalist you are surprised all the time as you dig through the research and talked to people but is there anything that you would say surprised you the most about this issue especially if you
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changed your being here. did you use to text and drive >> guest: i don't remember when i got my first phone capable of texting but i suspect not because i don't think i could text of the time i was reporting on the subject and by then i was like no bleeping way emi doing that so i don't think i did. but i did talk on the phone and i stopped doing that and the phone goes in the middle and it goes off and it doesn't get answered but i do want to go to what surprised me the most because it actually was not -- i'm picturing something in my mind i will describe. you've done some great journalism and i'm sure that you know this experience what surprised me the most was the outpouring from the characters in this book, the deep candor
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and understanding and i want to say for a moment of the widows of the men jim and keith over now. this book was built on grief. what they opened up to me and the hunters if you will the stories in their own lives of abuse, domestic abuse, sexual abuse. they went to the question of attention. what do you pay attention to and what in your life and your history dictates how you attempt to the world and in this case in 2006 the story with other rangers edge of morality into the way that people attended to that depended on the places they came from.
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so i think what surprised me the most and gratified me the most i feel truly honored to have been a vessel for it is the outpouring of candor, emotion, raw energy from people it was once-in-a-lifetime. >> host: again and again technology and history hasn't been a matter of what the inventors say. so what it was when it wasn't first in your pocket. it is a very dicey changeable and shape shifting powerful aspect of our lives and what what you hope, and we have a few more minutes, how would you hope that we fall in terms of our
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attitudes toward technology. >> guest: i love the question and the idea of taking a critical look and i think there's an analogy in the book that really hits it told that i hope will answer it. in the end i tried to add up with all this means that the scientists gave me an analogy that says we would compare technology today to the industrialization of food and adjust to back out what they meant by that, you know when we industrialized food a lot of amazing things happened like this expensive food and giving calories to more people but it also gave us the vending machine has all the sugar and the fact that you ever needed as a cave person but when you needed it as a cave person you case person you had to walk halfway through the jungle now it's way to make
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you obese and diabetic. so this survival thing to did a problem that same is true with our devices. make no mistake it is tantamount to the food and we needed to survive every day. just like the vending machine it is it has the potential to short-circuit us. going to the nerve centers with primitive social rewards that can hijack us. i hope that we become critical of this the way that we become critical of food. it's a metaphor that's been used before in the diet and i think
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that is what i talked about in the book. find a diet. disconnect enough to find a diet but it really does take a concert of effort because we are just at the beginning of understanding what is fat and sugar and salt. >> host: we are out of time but you have left us with so much to think about and be skeptical about and of so many ways in which we can think about this issue. so thank you very much. >> guest: it was a pleasure. thank you.
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we partnered with comcast for a visit to color a springs colorado. >> the montgomery pike was sent into the american southwest to explore the louisiana territory and he was sent to the southwest part of the territory. and from his perspective when he came off here he nearly walked off the map. he went to an area that was unknown. he thinks that they will reach the top in a few days but it takes weeks to approach. they reached what we believe is a lower mountain of stuff laying
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of pikes peak so it turned around and he wrote in the journals that given the conditions and the equipment that they had at the time no one could have selected the peak but became america the beautiful who came here to colorado springs to teach a summer course at colorado college in 1893. and at the view down to the planes from the top of the mountain that inspired the poetry and the image of the united states.
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talking about his book being more go about the end-of-life medical care interviewed by the surgeon and health policy professor marty mccary. this is one hour. "after words" >> host: great to see you again. great book. i love the book cover. it has a grasp on the cover and it got so much potential in the symbolism. i immediately thought of walt whitman and this famous quote i bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass that i love. what does a leaf of grass mean to you and why did you decide to put it on the cover? >> guest: all/is grass it refers to the idea that on the one hand, we all come from something fertile but also
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grasses and temper. this is one of the few times we can have an honest conversation in the public forum about the mortality and end-of-life issues very >> host: did did it hit you or strike you i am not going to be around here forever. what impacted the writing of the book and the research for the book on your own practice? >> guest: a lot. it was the impact of the start investigating why why in my own practice i don't give a very successful job dealing with mortality. we reached by the place where 17% of the population died in the institutions unaware of what is opening in the world the
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chance to say goodbye to preserve a quality-of-life if it came to the end and it is clear this isn't what people wanted and i wasn't being successful at it so i began interviewing families and patients about their experience in with aging and the end-of-life or just dealing with serious illness. i interviewed the scorers of physicians, hospice workers, nursing home workers and i learned a long the way what some of them do that is a successful process of changing and i began trying that and then my father was diagnosed with a brain tumor in his brain stem and spinal cord and unexpectedly he needed to use what i was learning as a son instead of as a doctor. >> host: was that a tough time
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for you personally? >> guest: yeah it was. having the chance to understand what people that are more effective as family members or as clinicians and what they do made it much less tough. it was interesting. the core thing that came out of the lesson is people have theories besides living longer yet medicine doesn't recognize that and i was never taught to articulate and recognize that. the second part is the most reliable method is to ask and i wasn't asking. i wasn't asking even my own dad. so when his condition began to deteriorate and this is a tumor that was intimate and a quadriplegic as it gradually took his life if he faced
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options of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, i started asking the question that we talk about, so what are your priorities? are the trade-offs you are looking to make and not willing to make? it changed everything of his care along the way. >> host: you describe your grandfather sitruam who lived to be 110-years-old in a village in india. tell me what you learned from his life. >> guest: so, he is fascinating because he is the kind of old age but we think we want. the last 25 years of his care, he was surrounded by family. he could've said as the head of his dinner table at home, still ahead of the family.
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people came to him for business advice and for advice about who they should marry. he was respected and generated and he really was able to live as good a life as possible all the way to the very end. what made that possible and why did we lose that, that is a lesson that came out of it. as a society. in other words, that is what america had in the 19th century and europe have began to china, korea and india are leaving right now and why the breakup of the extended family taking care of somebody like him is occurring because that worked only by insulating beyond. young women to provide the care and then on top of that coming you know, his sons. imagine reaching your '80s waiting to inherit the land. having your economic future still depending on your dad. ..
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>> >> and the things that he
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did was recognize the most life-threatening thing is that if they fell and broke their hip on average only a six months they would survive. so more important of the mammogram and colonoscopy was preventing them from falling and he knew how to do that how to examine the fee to look at the toenails and calluses and to arrange for a podiatrist and even see if they could reach their feet and he would sit back and let them struggle
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in two's the about at home and then went further to recognize people have a much higher risk of falling and then would reduce the drug. >> host: and he could do that because they were not necessary? >> guest: there were not addressing the prior day's their priority was to have as good a life as possible for as long as possible and once you understand it that way it was just she was alive to do what she wanted to do in her biggest priority was to keep her home. you know, the four risk factors are the likelihood of falling in the most important thing we can do?

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